Small Business Owners 491 Visa | QLD Pathway to PR

Subclass 491 visa QLD Small Business Owners pathway
Subclass 491 visa pathway for Small Business Owners to operate a business in regional Queensland

Small Business Owners 491 Visa Pathway is available for application in Queensland (QLD).

The Small Business Owners 491 Visa is a pathway for people who are currently living and operating a small business in regional Queensland. You cannot apply for this subclass 491 visa if you are not currently living in Australia.

The Small Business Owners 491 visa is only available for non-citizens who are on a visa with unrestricted work rights and has been living in a regional Queensland area for at least 6 months. 

In order to be eligible for this subclass 491 visa, your occupation must be in the current occupations shortage list (see LIN 19/051), and your skills for this occupation must be assessed as positive for migration. However, your business (no limitation to the type of business) does not need to be related to your nominated occupation, but you will need to show you have relevant business experience or qualification to demonstrate you will be able to successfully run the business. You should note that the person who is applying for Queensland nomination must be the same person operating the business.

Furthermore, to satisfy the other criteria for a Small Business Owners 491 visa, you must have full-time work rights and must not be currently studying.

The subclass 491 visa is a temporary visa that allows you to work and live in regional Queensland for 5 years and there is a PR pathway thereafter (click here to learn more about this PR).

Subclass 491 visa for small business owners

Where is Regional Queensland?

Regional Queensland are suburbs outside of Brisbane and the postcodes for the Small Business Owners 491 visa are:

  • 4124 to 4125
  • 4133
  • 4183 to 4184
  • 4207 to 4275
  • 4280 to 4287
  • 4306 to 4498
  • 4507
  • 4517 to 4519
  • 4550 to 4575
  • 4580 to 4895

Can I apply for QLD Small Business Owners 491 visa?

There are 2 sets of criteria for the QLD Small Business Owners 491 visa applicants:

Department of Home Affairs

  1. Scored at least 65 points (click here to calculate your points), inclusive of state nomination points;
  2. Have a positive skills assessment in your nominated occupation;
  3. Under 45
  4. Have competent (for eg, at least 6.0 in each band of the IELTS test) or higher level of English language if required by the skills assessing authority. No exemption even if you hold a passport from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada or NZ.

Queensland Business & Skilled Migration (BSMQ)

  1. Your occupation must be in the occupations shortage list (see LIN 19/051);
  2. Have prior business experience or qualifications to successfully run the business or have previously involved in a family-run business
  3. You are currently on a visa that allows full-time work (at least 35 hours per week)
  4. Have purchased an existing business in regional Queensland, cannot be start-up or home based businesses
  5. Paid at least $100,000 for the business
  6. Have 100% business ownership, cannot be partnership or joint venture
  7. Must have traded in the business for at least 6 months before applying for the Small Business Owners 491 visa
  8. Employed at least 1 employee who is an Australian resident (citizen or PR) who is not related to you or a subcontractor working at least 20 hours per week
  9. Have sufficient funds to settle in regional Queensland

Small Business Owners 491 visa application process

  1. Submit EOI and select “Queensland” as the nominating state (preference will be given over those who selected “ANY” state)
  2. Submit an online 491 – SBO assessment form – see
  3. If successful, you will receive an invitation from the BSMQ to pay a non-refundable application fee ($440 + GST)
  4. You will have 14 days from date of invitation to finalise your application. You can request from BSMQ an extension, if not, your application will be closed, and you will need to submit a new EOI.
  5. If you made a mistake in your EOI after receiving the nomination, you will have to wait 6 months before you can re-apply again
  6. When the BSMQ approved your application, you will receive an invitation from the Department to lodge your Small Business Owners 491 visa application within 60 days.

BSMQ docs to support Small Business Owners 491 visa nomination

If you are invited by BSMQ, you will be required to support your subclass 491 visa application with:

  • Application form
  • Settlement funds declaration form
  • Personal bank statement
  • Skills assessment
  • Commitment statement
  • Evidence of business management experience
  • Evidence of academic qualification
  • Evidence of business ownership and/or registration docs (eg, contract of sale, ABN / ACN / ASIC) – business must be registered in Queensland.
  • Evidence of Australian resident employee (cannot be a subcontractor or a member of your family) – eg, payslip, PAYG statements, their passport and visa (if an Australian PR) or Australian citizenship certificate
  • Evidence of business has been operating for at least 6 months (eg, at least 2 BAS statements)
  • Evidence of your current visa
  • Utility bill or lease agreement

The processing time by the BSMQ is approximately 2 weeks from receipt of a completed application.

To learn more about how you may lodge an expression of interest for a skilled visa – click here.

Click here to learn more about Subclass 491 Tasmania nomination for small business operator.

If you are in Australia when you apply for this visa, you may be granted a bridging visa to allow you to stay in the country until your application is finalised (click here to learn more about bridging visa).

If you are granted a Subclass 491 visa, visa condition 8579 will be imposed and you must live, work or study in a specified or designated area (click here to learn more).

Click here to learn more about Subclass 491 visa for Victoria.

Australian migration law is complex and difficult to understand, contact our immigration lawyer for a consultation (fee applies) to help you decide if you are eligible to apply for the Small Business Owners 491 visa.

041 222 4020 or WeChat: AUDvisa

This article is not intended to be or taken as migration legal advice. The author of this article disclaims any liability for any action or omission on the information provided or not provided in this article. You should always consult an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent to form an informed opinion on your immigration matter.

Related Posts